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The Killing Executive Producer Veena Sud Answers Fan Questions (Part II)

In Part II of her interview with fans, The Killing Executive Producer Veena Sud talks about the biggest complement the show has ever received and whether Linden and Holder will ever kiss.

Q: Did aspects of the storyline for this season change based on the actors’ performances or input? – Alina

A: It’s inevitable that when you write a show, you write for the actor’s voice as they inhabit the character. All of us had worked with Joel and Mireille for two seasons, so we definitely have a feeling into how they speak and how they inhabit their characters. We really wanted to build on them as individuals and them as a team. We start out with characters like Bullet or Seward, and when the actors show up, they bring so much of his or her own spirit and cadence to a role. And that character evolves over time, and we write towards that.

Q: How do you go about picking the music and sounds of the show in order to build the dark ambiance it has? — Star

A: We have an incredible composer, Frans Bak. He’s Danish and he has this beautiful, haunting and unique sound. He was the composer for the original Danish series, and hands down without a doubt I always knew that I wanted him to do ours. His sound is so incredibly unique. Sound design is very important to me, and we don’t just rely on songs. We’ll purposely seek out sounds like foghorns or seagulls, or the noises from creatures that live in the rafters of abandoned buildings. My editors and my post–production team are very aware of how important that sound is. And we have an amazing post-production team.

Q: Are Linden and Holder ever going to kiss for real? — Nina D.

A: [Laughs] That’s to be discovered.

Q: Do you ever run into roadblocks in the midst of writing episodes for the show? If so, how did you overcome this problem? – Al

A: The nature of writing itself means there are constantly unexpected roadblocks and turns. We try to plan for the big picture as much as we can at the beginning of each season, but the nature of writing as you get into each episode is that the story starts to speak to you on one level and demand certain things that you haven’t planned for. Or a writer will come up with a brilliant, unexpected turn that doesn’t fit into what we had planned. But that’s part of this delicious, unplanned bouillabaisse that we create together; everyone brings something to the table.

In terms of roadblocks, a lot of times you paint yourself into a corner. We try to make things really difficult for a character and the storytelling is creating conflict, and when you do that, you have to get yourself out of that corner. It’s fun and terrifying, and we eat a lot of snacks in the writers’ room to comfort ourselves as we hit those road blocks. There was one in the finale: We were stuck for quite awhile wondering how Holder was going to get away from I.A., when they’ve got him locked down in that room and he knew the clock was ticking and that Sarah was possibly with Skinner. We were wondering how the hell Holder was going to get out of this. And one of our new writers, Aaron Slavick, came up with a brilliant idea when he said, “What if he said that he put a bomb in Reddick’s car?”

VIDEO: Inside Episode 312, “The Road to Hamelin”

Q: Do you ever plan to write about women that commit murder? — Doris K.

A: Well, you never know. We did that with Season 1, and the reveal that Terry the aunt ended up killing her niece. But it’s a fascinating world and everything is open and possible with The Killing, so yes, why not?

Q: What sort of research was done regarding female cops? Have you heard from any about what they think of Sarah? – McSpanky

A: Sarah Linden is a composite of a lot of female detectives I’ve met over time. Not to generalize, but female detectives do work in a predominantly male environment in pretty much every police department I’ve researched. And they work in a brutal world. They go to the morgue, almost every morning. With all my writers at the beginning of every season, we go to the morgue. It’s very important that we have a taste of the reality of their world. The morgue is a very brutal place. There’s no escaping what you’re looking at when you’re there.  For my new writers, who hadn’t been on the show before, it’s shocking. The smell is inescapable. One year we went and there were maggots, because the body had been decomposing for awhile. My undercover detectives come to all the premieres, and they love Sarah Linden. The biggest complement the show has received is that Bill Bratton, who’s served as the police chief in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, said that it’s one of the most realistic cop shows on TV. He’s a landmark figure in law enforcement.

Q: How did the cast react after you wrapped the last episode? — Zippywinds Zerbina 

A: It’s a very intense finale and an incredible cliffhanger moment for Linden and Holder. I think everyone was glad to be able to hang out and laugh and enjoy each other’s company at the wrap party. The cast was incredibly proud of this season.

Read Part I of Veena Sud’s interview with fans of The Killing

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